Sunday, September 20, 2009

‘Jai Ho Los Angeles’: Mallika Honorary Citizen of LA


LOS ANGELES — Flanked by city councilmen Tom LaBonge and Jose Huizar, Bollywood actress Mallika Sherawat was made an honorary citizen of Los Angeles during ceremonies Aug. 14 in the Los Angeles city council chamber here.

Calling her the “original Bollywood bombshell” who has taken “the world by storm,” and the first actress from the Indian film industry to be honored as such by the city, Huizar declared that Sherawat was being recognized for her “extraordinary career and her charitable efforts.”

LaBonge weighed in by proclaiming that Sherawat “is going to make people a better life, not only as an actor but as a humanitarian.”

Later, during the official photo session with composer Yanni, who has invited Sherawat to participate on his next album in India, LaBonge gave Sherawat his card in case “you have an problems on Second Street, Third Street or Fourth Street,” he quipped.

Upon accepting the award, Sherawat noted that the day for her was an “auspicious occasion” since it was the eve of India Independence Day, and expressed the hope that the “friendship between India and the United States continue as well as the collaboration between Hollywood and Bollywood in creating great art and cinema for everyone throughout the world.”

She concluded her brief speech by “dedicating this award to the millions of NRIs who came here before me, and this is how I hope to follow in your footsteps,” she said, adding that she plans to make Los Angeles her new home.

Given that “Jai Ho” has become the signature catchphrase from the Oscar winning film “Slumdog Millionaire,” “I will say ‘Jai Ho’ Los Angeles!” Sherawat said.

Now that she has become an honorary citizen of Los Angeles, India-West asked if she has any plans of officially becoming an American citizen.

“I think it’s on the way right now,” Sherawat replied. “Los Angeles is my home now, and I feel thankful and grateful for this acknowledgement. I’m really lucky. I must have done something right.”

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